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World Bank presents study on the ‘Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change’ in Mozambique

Adaptation to climate change can be costly, but not adapting can be costly too.
© UNICEF Mozambique
Adaptation to climate change can be costly, but not adapting can be costly too.

MAPUTO, Mozambique, 18 May 2011 – On 18 May, UNICEF Mozambique hosted Mr. Jean-Christophe Caret, a Senior Environmental Economist from the World Bank, who presented the findings from the Mozambique case study in the World Bank’s Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change (EACC) study. The objectives of the study were to develop a global estimate of adaptation costs for informing the international community’s efforts in climate change negotiation, and to help decision makers in developing countries to assess the risks posed by climate change and define national strategies for adaptation. The study was conducted along two tracks: one, a global track in which national databases were used to generate aggregate estimates at a global scale; and two, a country level approach, of which Mozambique was one of seven case studies conducted, that used sub-national data aggregated at economy-wide, sectorial and local levels.

According to Mr. Caret, studies have estimated that by 2050 the annual average temperature will rise 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial level temperatures. The increase in temperatures will result in more intense rainfall and more intense and more frequent droughts, floods, heat waves, and other extreme weather events. In Mozambique increase in storms and floods could have a severe impact on roads and a rise in the sea level and more intense cyclones could see forced migration of coastal residents and have a negative impact on coastal property. The cost of adaptation in developing countries could total US$ 100 billion per year by 2030, which equals the current annual flow of development aid to these countries. According to a worst case scenario the cost of inaction for Mozambique could be as high US$ 420 million per year or one-third of the annual official development aid for Mozambique.

In order to combat the impact of climate change, the World Bank’s recommendation includes better management of the river basins, more research into agricultural practices, sealing of unpaved roads and the protection of vulnerable, high value coastal regions from storm surges. One way in which the World Bank is assisting countries to adapt is through the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR). The program was set up by donor countries to help highly vulnerable countries pilot and demonstrate ways to integrate climate risk and resilience into development planning. Funds from the PPCR total US$ 70 million and are being used in three development projects, including water resource development and transportation infrastructure management.

A drawback of the study, as has been acknowledged by the World Bank, is lack of attention paid to the social protection dimension of climate change. The presentation generated considerable discussion on the need to develop solutions that are sustainable and inclusive of the social sectors. An important ingredient in moving the climate change agenda in Mozambique forward is leadership. Within the Government, there needs to be more leadership and a management structure that can absorb and use funds efficiently and effectively. In addition, greater coherence and dialogue is essential among donors and UN agencies. For UNICEF Mozambique, the presentation was a timely one, as the Country Office is working to define its own policy and programmatic approach to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change, and was reminded of the requirements to successfully deal with the impact of climate change.

This web story was written by Alex Sales, Intern in the Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response function at UNICEF Mozambique. Follow the link below for the full study.

Link to study:

For more information, please contact:

Arild Drivdal, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email:

Gabriel Pereira, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email:




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